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Statement of Italy during the Intersessional Workshop on Cultural Rights and the Protection of Cultural Heritage at the Human Rights Council

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The Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva, Ambassador Vincenzo Grassi, took the floor today during the Intersessional Workshop on Cultural Rights and the Protection of Cultural Heritage at the Human Rights Council.

The one-day workshop has been convened according to the HRC Resolution 49/7 entitled “Cultural rights and the protection of cultural heritage”, presented in April 2022 by a core group of countries which includes Italy, together with Cyprus, Argentina, Ethiopia, Greece, Iraq, Ireland, Mali, Poland, Serbia and Switzerland.

In his statement, Ambassador Grassi highlighted that Italy has always been committed to protecting cultural heritage, also during or after armed conflicts. In this regard, he recalled that in 2016 Italy signed a Memorandum of Understanding with UNESCO to establish a National Task Force in the framework of the “Global Coalition Unite4Heritage” and that last June launched a new capacity-building course focused on Italian living heritage.

He also noted that the concept of cultural heritage and the recognition of its importance are constantly evolving, and mentioned today’s acknowledgement of the contribution of cultural heritage, tangible and intangible, to social cohesion and to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Cultural heritage is intrinsically linked to human being and therefore to human rights”, Ambassador Grassi stated and explained that a human rights-based approach to cultural heritage is essential to preserve that fundamental interconnection.

In conclusion, he underlined that the promotion of cultural rights and the protection cultural heritage will be one of the main themes of the contemporary art exhibition that Italy will present at the Palais des Nations, in the framework of the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.